Bay Area trainer Bob Hess dies of COVID amid mass outbreak at Golden Gate Fields

Bob Hess dies
Bob Hess dies

Bob Hess Sr., a fixture of the California horse racing world, died Saturday due to complications from COVID-19.Bob Hess dies

Hess, 86, first arrived at Golden Gate Fields in 1971 and has been among the local racing circuit’s best-known trainers since.

According to a statement from the track, Hess tested positive for the coronavirus after a routine test administered by track officials in November. He was hospitalized in mid-November, discharged and then forced to return when his symptoms worsened. He died Saturday morning.Bob Hess dies

Hess started over 10,000 horses in his career, winning 1,592 of those races. His horses earned over $17 million during the course of his career.

Bob Hess dies
Bob Hess dies

“When I was riding up north, he was like a second father to me,” jockey Abel Cedillo said in a statement. “I had so much respect for him. I’m shocked. I’m going to really miss him.”Bob Hess dies

The death comes during a mass outbreak at the Bay Area’s largest racetrack. In late November, the city of Berkeley confirmed at least 200 of the over 500 people who work at the track had tested positive for COVID. Hundreds of workers also live at the track, which has housing for grooms, exercise riders and other staff. According to a story from Berkeleyside, most of the infected individuals had no symptoms, likely explaining how the outbreak spread so prolifically so fast.Bob Hess dies

Bob Hess dies
Bob Hess dies

Racing is currently suspended at Golden Gate Fields through at least Christmas.

Hess is survived by his wife Maria and children Bob Jr., who is also a trainer, Howie, Erica and Anna.Bob Hess dies

“Our hearts and prayers are with the entire Hess family at this time,” General Manager at Golden Gate Fields David Duggan said in a statement. “To lose a longtime trainer and friend is simply heartbreaking to our entire horse racing family.”Bob Hess dies

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